In a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams still standing in the WPSL Elite League, the Chicago Red Stars got the better of the Boston Breakers with a 1-0 victory at North Central College Sunday night. Naperville native Michele Weissenhofer scored the lone goal of the game in the 34th minute, with Lori Chalupny credited on the assist. Jamie Forbes recorded her third shutout in goal for the Red Stars who move to 3-0-0 on the season.
"Having just played the other night (Friday) and five games this season, we were a little bit tired. It was a tough game," Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "I think we’ll be fine. We just have to get off to a good start. But credit to Chicago. They are a good team. We have to be better, but I’m not overly disappointed or worried about our play."
The Red Stars may have gotten the better looks of the first half, but Boston (5-1-0) was able to take control of the pace of the second half to keep it an even contest. In an exciting back-and-forth match, Forbes had her share of work for the evening to keep high-scoring Boston out of the net. On the other end, Boston keeper Alice Binns performed at the top of her game, turning away seven shots.
“They’re (Boston) coming off a tough match on Friday (at FC Indiana) so it took them some time to get their legs,” Chicago Head Coach Rory Dames noted. “The second half they came out and picked up the pace of their play and put us on our heels and we actually got stuck into having to defend a bit more than we would have liked. You won’t beat Boston with just one or two players, it had to be a group effort. They got to a speed that we couldn’t quite catch up to, but I also think that’s partially because this is only our third game. We had said all along this feels like it wraps up our preseason, whereas they’re already playing in their 6th league game so they’re just a little bit farther ahead of us.”
On the offensive side for Chicago, it was the lucky left foot of forward, and hometown player, Michele Weissenhofer that secured a win for the Red Stars. Her goal in the 34th minute ended Boston’s streak of 484 minutes of either leading or tied during a WPSL Elite league match, the longest such streak in the league this season.
The Breakers had a fair share of chances, more so in the second half than the first. But they did have a great chance in the 12th minute when defender Elli Reed made a textbook overlapping run and was on the receiving end of a pass from midfielder Tameka Butt. Reed’s shot, however, was stopped by Forbes. In the 30th minute, midfielder Bianca D’Agostino had a solid chance inside the box, but was denied by Forbes.
Breakers defender Taryn Hemmings battles with Chicago's Lauren Fowlkes
In the second half, forward Kyah Simon linked up with Katie Schoepfer in the 51st minute, sending a cross into the area. Schoepfer hit it on goal, but Forbes came up big again for Chicago. Schoepfer was denied a second time, this one coming in the 61st minute off a pass from Butt. Schoepfer lunged to get a foot on it and had enough power to put it on goal, but unfortunately right at Forbes.
Despite the loss, the Breakers remain in first place, five points clear of second-place New York Fury, who drew 0-0 with the Western New York Flash Sunday night. The Breakers return to action Sunday in Pennsylvania, taking on the Philadelphia Fever for the first time this season. They return home June 20 to face the New England Mutiny. A limited amount of tickets are available at www.breakerstickets.com.
Shots: Chicago 14, Boston 11
Shots on Goal: Chicago 7, Boston 8
Fouls: Chicago 12, Boston 5
Corners: Chicago 4, Boston 4
Goals: Michele Weissenhofer 34’ (Assist by Lori Chalupny)
Chicago: Jamie Forbes (GK), Elise Addis, Michelle Wenino, Sammy Scofield, Jackie Santacaterina (Mary Therese McDonnell 73’), Jen Buczkowski, Julianne Sitch, Lori Chalupny, Alyssa Mautz (Amanda Cinalli 78’), Lauren Fowlkes (Vanessa DiBernardo 56’), Michele Weissenhofer (Shayla Mutz 78’)
Boston: Alice Binns (GK), Elli Reed, Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Courtney Jones (Julie King 54’), Amanda DaCosta, Bianca D’Agostino, Leslie Osborne, Tameka Butt (Jess Luscinski 79’), Katie Schoepfer, Kyah Simon